Technology undeniably forms the backbone of numerous companies and agencies. With growing connectivity across global audiences, the need to process -- and protect -- massive quantities of data efficiently increases.
Naturally, this raises the question of how the technology and data science industries are doing. In 2021, a projected 12.4 million individuals in the United States alone were estimated to be employed by companies in the technology sector. Within the same report by CompTIA, industries involving cybersecurity and data science were projected to be some of the fastest growing occupational areas of the tech world (Cyberstates 2021 Research Report).
Some have proposed the application of quantum computers, perhaps offering an alternate way to address the current computational limitations of classical computers. The potential behind the computational power of quantum computers has yet to be fully understood. Consequently, the quantum computing industry has shown itself to be an area of global interest due to the parallel growth of interest in the furthering of the finance, defense, and scientific sectors.
According to a report published by Markets and Markets, the global market for quantum computing is projected to grow from 472 million USD to 1.765 billion USD between 2021 and 2026.
Several companies and startups have made inroads into this area of the global market. If you are looking for quantum computing jobs, considering the jobs of the future, or just hoping to explore the career choices out there in the technology industry, take a look at these quantum companies (or branches of tech companies) that are on the rise.
1QBit, based in Vancouver, Canada, works with over 120 individuals from all walks of research and science to tackle problems in both classical and quantum computing. The company was founded in 2012, with a primary product being quantum computer software that is hardware agnostic (flexible in the type of hardware it can be applied to).
If you are interested in learning more about 1QBit or want to take a closer look at some jobs related to quantum computing, visit their careers page here.
- Azure (Microsoft) Quantum Computing
Azure Quantum provides a development kit for quantum computing developers allowing for scalable environments across Microsoft applications and its quantum partners. Tools included within the kit focus on quantum machine learning, optimization, simulation (e.g. in chemistry), and cryptography, each of which are notable areas on the forefront of the industry applications of quantum computing.
In the realm of quantum computing, Microsoft also supports several significant projects researching both hardware and algorithmic processes for quantum computing. For instance, in late January, 2021, the Microsoft Research Blog published a post on their work in addressing the difficulties that often come with attempting to control the environment surrounding qubits (quite a headache for many researchers).
If you are interested in becoming a quantum developer -- or want to know what a quantum developer is -- take a look at the July 2020 Azure Quantum Developer Workshop hosted by Microsoft.
ColdQuanta takes a unique approach to quantum computing. The company utilizes “Cold Atoms Quantum Technology” that opts to trap atoms in an ultra-cold array. The exceedingly low temperatures aid in longer coherence times, as there is considerably less “noise” that could interfere with the information within the computer, making the resultant quantum computers used more effective overall. The technological basis of the company is founded upon the research of Professor Dana Anderson at University of Colorado Boulder.
If you are looking for a career with ColdQuanta, take a look at their careers webpage here. The company itself is relatively small when compared to the likes of Google or IBM, and, according to its page, currently employs over 80 employees (a number that is gradually increasing towards over 120).
- Google Quantum AI
Google began dabbling in quantum computing in 2006. A lab specifically dedicated to research in the area was established in 2012. Over the past decade or so, Google has released three major quantum processors: Foxtail (2016), Bristlecone (2017), and Sycamore (2018), the latter of which had a close brush with demonstrating quantum supremacy.
It is worth noting Google Quantum AI is largely research based and oftentimes centers around Cirq, a Python software library that allows for user interaction with (and manipulation of) quantum computers.
If you are looking for a career with Google Quantum AI, check out their page here.
Honeywell had an early start in quantum computing and is considered one of the first few, major companies on the initial forefront of the industry. There exist various partnerships with other companies for joint software-hardware collaborations.
Furthermore, Honeywell’s quantum technology utilizes trapped-ion qubits, which led Honeywell to (perhaps prematurely) announce the creation of the world’s most powerful quantum computer in 2020, based upon quantum volume. It is worth noting that quantum advantage tends to be the preferred measure of capability for quantum computers; quantum volume takes into account the processing ability, level of coherence, and connectivity.
Honeywell has several career opportunities in quantum computing posted on Glassdoor and Indeed.
International Business Machines Corporation (IBM) is considered one of the leading technological firms in the US and internationally, with over 131 offices spanning 96 countries worldwide. In the field of quantum computing, IBM holds a prominent position as well, providing valuable partnerships with research facilities, Fortune 500 companies, and other private ventures, a community that makes up the IBM Quantum Network.
For companies looking to partner with IBM Quantum, IBM offers several training tools to familiarize employees with quantum computing. Several major, ongoing projects include formulating molecular simulations with Mitsubishi Chemical and energy solutions with ExxonMobil.
For individuals looking for a career in quantum computing-related areas, according to the 2019 Great Place to Work U.S. National Employee Engagement Study, 80% of IBM employees described the company as “a great place to work”, considerably higher than the average 59% of employee responses at the typical U.S. company. Take a look at job offerings at IBM here.
Zapata constructs software for companies, collaborating with the likes of IBM and Microsoft to run their software on the latters’ quantum processors and hardware. Their work dips into developing solutions for aerospace and automotive, healthcare, telecommunications, materials, and other industries.
Various challenges and areas of research can be read about at length here. Consider, for instance, an in-depth analysis of the applications of quantum computing in quantum chemistry or a quantum algorithm developed for credit valuation adjustments.
If you are looking for a career in one of their primary offices (locations for which include Toronto, Boston, and London), take a look at their job listings here.
Where to Next?
In the current quantum computing industry, companies often opt to focus on research, quantum hardware development, or software development (or some combination of these) to find solutions to modern problems. Their involvement in furthering society worldwide makes for worthy investments, and the computing potential of quantum computers backs up this observation.
Of course, precisely where the quantum computing industry goes in the next few years is unimaginable. Perhaps you will be a driving force in paving a new path for research and industries as a whole -- who knows?
Want to find more careers in quantum computing? Check out the Q-munity Job Board at https://www.qmunity.tech/job-board!